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Acadia National Park

orlando, fl
posts: 17
Acadia National Park

We are visiting Acadia NP in June 2013. Is the coastline northeast from Bar Harbor to Perry, ME worth the trip? We are planning to go the the Adirondacks in NY after Acadia and if we travel to Perry, ME it will add 5+ hours to the trip and probably an additional night on the road. We are willing to make the trip to Perry but only is there is something on interest along the coast. Any thoughts? Experiences?

Bar Harbor, Maine
posts: 4,126
reviews: 8
1. Re: Acadia National Park

I'm not sure how you landed on Perry, Maine. The towns of interest in that area are generally thought to be Eastport and Lubec. I don't think you would find the detour worth the extra time. The coastal scenery east of Bar Harbor is definitely dramatic. A section there is called The Bold Coast because of its very rocky nature. There are some hikes and state parks along that coast. But simply a drive-by wouldn't really allow you to see much of it. The water isn't usually visible from Route 1.

That part of Maine is sometimes called "undiscovered" because there aren't a lot of tourist amenities there. But that also means you will mostly simply see rural Maine from the car without dedicated scenic pullovers, rest stops, and not many places to eat or sleep. Only you can say if it is worth your time and trouble.

orlando, fl
posts: 17
2. Re: Acadia National Park

Thanks for the helpful information. It looks like two towns, Jonesport and Cutler on on the ocean in that area. Do you know if either location provides good views of the coastline?

Clearwater, Florida
posts: 22
reviews: 38
3. Re: Acadia National Park

Drive the coast (rt 1) from Portland to Bar Harbor....beautiful sights all along the way....

posts: 37
reviews: 116
4. Re: Acadia National Park

How long does it take to drive the coast from Bar Harbor to Portland and are there any interesting food stops you recommend?

Bar Harbor, Maine
posts: 4,126
reviews: 8
5. Re: Acadia National Park

I disagree with the opinion that it's a beautiful drive from Portland to Bar Harbor along the coast. Highway One doesn't really go along the coast. Mostly the coast is a series of peninsulas and the highway cuts inland of those.

Here's a somewhat detailed description, which you could see just by following a map. First you drive to Ellsworth from Bar Harbor. But you've already done that route because it's the only way to get to Bar Harbor. Then you drive from Ellsworth down to Bucksport. You get almost no glimpse of the ocean along this route. In Bucksport there is a nice bridge over the Penobscot River. No ocean view.

From Bucksport to Belfast to Camden you get some river views which are rather nice. From Camden through Rockland to Thomaston you are driving through congestion and development. From Thomaston through Waldoboro to Wiscasset you are far from the ocean. At Wiscasset you cross a low bridge and continue fairly far inland to Bath and Brunswick. You continue without any ocean views through Freeport to Portland.

The best scenery is all out on those peninsulas or the islands in Penobscot Bay. But maybe I'm spoiled because I live here in Bar Harbor which has the BEST scenery. You might, in fact, enjoy the drive. The drive in June from Bar Harbor to Portland, taking the coastal route and not stopping too often would take about four hours. Camden or Rockland would make a nice lunch stop. Lots of choices of small restaurants there.

Clearwater, Florida
posts: 22
reviews: 38
6. Re: Acadia National Park

I guess that's why we do blogs like this...to get different opinions on what to see and do. I've spent the last 40 summers in Maine and there's always more to see 'off the beaten path'. Just north of Portland is Days Seafood....great chowder, lobsters, fish etc....a stop every time. Then on to Freeport...yes, it's a charming town, LL Bean and other outlet stores..as well as state parks to hike, a side trip to Bath off Rt 1 to the Maine Maritime Museum....and another charming town. Wiscasset is busy, yes, but many like to stop off at the popular Reds Eats for Lobster rolls, Boothbay Harbor another interesting on the water town and during the summer the Opera House there has some interesting programs, you can take the mail boat from Port Clyde or New Harbor to Monhegan Island, Rockland and Camden are must sees and in Camden you can Kayak in the harbor around the boats and tall ships, as well as go up Mt. Battie...either hike it or drive it....one of the best views around. Searsport and the NEW bridge over the Penobscot River is very interesting...go to the top of it for more views...an engineering feat and Ft. Knox is there as well...and then on to Bar Harbor which is yes, one of the best places in Maine with Acadia National Park. Other interesting off the path visits....Belgrade Lake area, W of Augusta, Baxter State Park in Millinocket (Mt.Katahdin and moose watching), Moosehead Lake, Rangeley Lakes....yes, all well inland, but there's more to Maine after the rocky coast. Hope you explore and enjoy every minute of your trip and then return again to see the rest!!

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
posts: 6,184
reviews: 135
7. Re: Acadia National Park

Have lived in Maine all my life and driven Rt 1 between Portland and Bar Harbor more times than I can count, in all seasons of the year. Would agree with Bonniemaev that it's not as scenic as most people expect... but it truly does depend on ones expectations. Most people hear the term "coastal Rt 1" and expect it's going to be like parts of Highway 1 in California, with mile after mile of uninterrupted views of the ocean and coastline. But a closer look at a map of Maine will quickly dispell that idea. It's called "coatal Rt 1" because if parallels the coast, but isn't necessarily "on" the coast.

If you can picture the coast of Maine as being like the palm of your hand, with your palm representing mainland Maine and your fingers representing some of the dozens of peninsulas along the Maine coast (and the space between your fingers representing the Atlantic Ocean), US Rt 1 follows the row of knuckles closest to your wrist... meaning you'll catch occasional glimpses of the Atlantic between peninsulas, but to get the classic Maine coastal views folks see on postcards and calendars, you really need to take the time to drive down the peninsulas to the small coastal towns...but then to proceed further down the coast, you have to drive back up to Rt 1 again to resume your longer trip....

And as Bonniemaev points out, although its only about 160 miles via Rt 1, it can take four hours or so in the summertime, because, while it serves as a major through-route between those two places, it also serves as the Main Street of numerous small Maine towns, the access route for local commercial traffic serving those towns, and a major route for local-folks headed out to do their day-to-day errands. Speed limits through those downtowns drop as low as 25-mph and, in some towns, roadside parallel parking and numerous side streets add to slower going. If folks are truly in a hurry to get from Portland to Acadia to maximize their time there or from Acadia back to Portland as quickly as possible, most of us recommend using I-95 (or a combination of I-295 and I-95) from Portland to Bangor, then I-395 to Brewer, US Rt 1A to Ellsworth and Rt 3 to Bar Harbor -- it is longer, but often considerably quicker because much of it is limited-access, divided multi-lane Interstate highway. Just something to consider as you plan your trip.

Jonesport and Cutler are both small Maine coastal towns in eastern Maine -- Cutler has a nice harbor and about 500 year-round residents. Jonesport is home to about 1,500 people. Doing a Google search for each town and finding their official town websites will also give you a photographic look at both areas. Whether or not photos like those on the websites are worth the extra driving or not is a decision only you can make. The only thing I can add is that visiting that area of our state will give you a totally different view of Maine than what you'll see in Bar Harbor or points south of there along the coast.

Highland Lakes, New...
posts: 85
reviews: 33
8. Re: Acadia National Park

The bold cost is some BEAUTIFUL hiking... You're going along in the woods, then all of a sudden, it gets light... now you can't really tell what you're looking at, but you can see nothing in the distance... then you come to the edge of the cliffs, and it's amazing. We watched seals swimming below us, was really cool to walk around up there. Eastport and Lubec are not bad, depending on what you like, I don't know if it's worth the drive, it's a good few hours. The drive from Bar Harbor to Cutler or Lubec is breathtaking, in my opinion. You will just want to stop along route 1 to take pictures. Really beautiful drive. Lubec is quiet, quaint, and feels very old. The people are extremely nice and helpful, and we went on a whale watching boat while we were there. We saw tons of porpoise, minkhe whale, bald eagles, seals, really cool stuff. Felt like we were in a nature show.

9. Re: Acadia National Park

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